Thursday, July 12, 2007

BSA rewards up to $1 Million to individuals

Business Software Alliance (BSA) rewards Individuals Up To $1 Million for Qualified Reports of Copyright Infringement.

An independent study* shows that 21 percent of software in the United States is unlicensed.

BSA members include Adobe, Apple, Autodesk, Avid, Bentley Systems, Borland, CNC Software/Mastercam, McAfee, Microsoft, Mindjet, Monotype Imaging, PTC, SolidWorks, Sybase, Symantec, The MathWorks and UGS.

The complete news here.

1 comment:

  1. Restored comment
    Anonymous said...

    In our view, reward schemes do not solve the problem at all and we have been convinced of that over the last 12 to 15 years (Australia has had rewards since mid 1990s). All we have seen is massive amounts of wasted money and effort and seen no real change in the piracy ‘statistics” (which we don’t place a lot of credence in) that crop up every year.

    Why mention this?

    It's one of the lower level governance items that can easily slip under the radar when it gets to the controls aspects as many tend to downplay or ignore the impact.

    The reality is, if your business is “suspected” of having software as a result of a “claim or report” (made under statutory declaration) by an employee or ex-employee, we can tell you that the impact is really very time consuming, disruptive and costly to defend. It could also cost you your job if you failed to adhere to the basic premises expected when running a business/IT system etc.

    In practice, most sites end up paying the pipers tune (around 5 to 6 figure sums) as they really have no idea what is installed on their systems due to lax controls and inefficient management practices, and in some cases sheer stupidity. It also drives people down the Open Source path as well. Whether Open Source is good or bad is not the debating point, the fact is it is very disruptive to be running a business house to be presented with these reward schemes and then see the knee jerk reactions that inevitably follow.

    The rule of thumb you can use (based on past experience from cases we have seen) is multiply the published fine by 3 to 4 times and you get the true cost of disruption, legal defense, staff costs, extra software licenses etc as the fine is only the external costs shown!

    Make sure your local management controls cover the manner in which you install, license, share and use software and the manner in which you audit and monitor activities of employees.

    Ignore the issue and the reward scheme will bite you!

    Many will now be tempted to claim the reward, so don’t underestimate the creative power of those who know how to “work the system”. Some “creative individuals work on the premise of “never get mad, wait for a time to get even”.

    $1M could be a good reason for some to “even up the score” against a boss who was doing the wrong thing, or even if they were just browned off with the organization!

    In the future, Microsoft will finally wake up and offer a solution (there is a solution that can be deployed) that covers all software licensing (not just their own applications) and this will provide the end to end protection you need and reduce the need for expensive audits.

    However, don’t hold your breath waiting as Microsoft aren’t focused on the ultimate piracy management solution that could easily be deployed that allows you to get on with your core business activities.

    You can get a free Snapshot of the state of your desktop and notebook systems at http://www.pcprofile.com/SnapshotPCP_Demo.zip to see if you need to take drastic action before the effect of this latest campaign strikes. It’s only a question of time before the UK and the Australian arms of the BSA up the ante on their own reward schemes. Be cautious if you use the free Microsoft “audit” tool, as it does not present the total state of play on your systems see http://www.pcprofile.com/msia.htm
    July 13, 2007

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